Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gospel Text for Sunday, October 31st

Luke 19:1-10

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, "He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner." Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much." Then Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost."

1 comment:

  1. I notice that at the same time that Zacchaeus was up in a tree trying to see Jesus, Jesus was noticing Zacchaeus. I wonder what Jesus must have thought? Maybe something like this: "Look at that guy up in tree… he must really want to see me. But why? By the looks of his clothes he must be rich. If he wants to see me badly enough to make a fool of himself and climb a tree, he’ll probably invite me to dinner.” And Jesus was right. Zacchaeus was happy to invite Jesus into his home. Somehow Zacchaeus knew that he is in the presence of God and it transformed him.

    As a chief tax collector Zaccaheus made his money by cheating people, probably even the other tax-collectors. But in the presence of Jesus Zacchaeus’ heart was transformed. Zaccheaus was restored to peace and well-being even as he amensded his life with decisive actions directed toward restorative justice.

    Here is a current example of restorative justice. I am not suggesting that either the Gates or Warren Buffet have cheated or extorted people. I am suggesting that perhaps they recognize that the enormous disparity between their great wealth and access to all manner of resource and comforts and that of much of the worlds population is an issue of injustice. And so, “Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett are asking the nation's billionaires to pledge to give at least half their net worth to charity, in their lifetimes or at death. If their campaign succeeds, it could change the face of philanthropy.” Says Doris Burke for CNNMoney.com in her June 16, 2010 article, “The $600 billion challenge.”

    O Lord, help me see how my actions( or lack thereof) may be oppressive to others, to take account of them and amend my life to support freedom, dignity and justice for all people. Amen